This season of Podcraft is all about the gear & the software. We walk you through everything you’ll need to record your podcast, with options to suit every setup, format, and budget!
Episode 1 – What Microphone Do I Need to Podcast?
First thing’s first, you’re going to need something to record into, aren’t you?
On this episode we take a deep dive into the world of microphones for podcasting.
Here, you’ll learn
- The difference between XLR and USB mics
- The difference between Dynamic and Condenser mics
- What are Polar Patterns, and which one do you need?
- Can you use built-in mics to podcast?
- And, what are OUR favourite mics?
Also Mentioned in This Episode
- Samson Q2U (USB and XLR)
- Blue Snowball (USB)
- Blue Yeti (USB)
- Rode Procaster (XLR)
- MXL 990 (XLR)
- Shure SM58 (XLR)
- Alitu: The Podcast Maker
Episode 2 – Do I Need a Podcast Recorder? (And if So, Which Kind!?)
In this episode, we’ll cover why you might want to use a digital recorder in your podcasting efforts, and how to choose the best one for you.
We’ve discussed digital recorders in the past, and in fact, you can find our current definitive guide here: The Best Digital Podcast Recorders on the Market. This episode digs into the very same stuff with a little extra detail.
Each option depends on your own unique situation, show format, and budget. But here are some of the models we typically recommend:
- Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-05 – the lower-cost ‘lite’ models
- Zoom H5 or Zoom H6 – premium Zoom options
- Rodecaster Pro II – the ultimate podcast recorder
- Zoom PodTrak P4 – does a lot of what the Rodecaster does at quarter of the price
- Mackie DLZ Creator – the “money is no object” option
Episode 3 – Mixers and Audio Interfaces for Podcasting
Mixers and audio interfaces have much in common with the podcast recorders mentioned on our last episode. One crucial difference is that these are less likely to work as standalone devices, and will need other gear to make them work (typically, mics and a computer).
A mixer or audio interface is an excellent tool if you prefer to use podcast recording software.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
Episode 4 – Mobile Recording With Smartphones or Tablets
You most likely already carry an expensive recording device around with you everywhere you go. We’re talking, of course, about your smartphone.
In this episode of PodCraft, we take a look at the different gear and options available for turning your phone or tablet into a fully functioning podcast studio.
Gear & Resources
- Are built-in mics any good?
- Rode AI Micro
- Rode SmartLav + and SC6 Splitter
- Shure MV88
- Rode Wireless Go
- Zoom iQ6
- Recording apps for iOS
- Recording apps for Android
- Recording podcasts with Facebook Messenger
- Launch Essentials Course
Episode 5 – Audio Monitoring
Podcast listening isn’t exclusive to podcast listeners. Podcasters need to listen to their own audio, too – both whilst it’s being recorded and whilst it’s being edited. We call this type of creator listening “monitoring”, and that’s what we’ll discuss in this episode of PodCraft.
- Listen through headphones (even a cheap pair of earbuds) whilst recording audio to catch any issues in Real Time.
- Use headphones or speakers with a flat frequency response. Don’t use gear that’ll add extra bass that doesn’t exist in your source material, for example.
- Use a headphone splitter to give guests their own headphones whilst recording.
- When choosing headphones, consider things like comfort, isolation, sound leakage, as well as cable length and type.
- Headphones are great for mixing voice, but switch to speakers to mix in your music if you have that option in your setup.
- Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Studio Headphones
- Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones
- Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO Studio Headphones
- KRK Rokit 5 G3 Studio Monitors
- HosaTech YMM-261 Stereo Splitter
Episode 6 – Podcast Bits & Bobs: Cables, Stands, & Pop Filters
Cables, stands, jacks, plugs, pop filters – the less glamorous but still utterly essential part of the podcasting equipment pantheon.
It’s common for podcasters to spend three-figure sums on both their mic, and their recording device, then link the two with a cable they’ll spend $5 on.
On this episode, we look to better understand all these different ‘Bits & Bobs’ by running through what they are, what they look like, and what they do.
Types of Audio Cable & Connection
XLR cables and inputs. XLR cables are commonly known as microphone cables.
They have a male end and a female end, and are used to connect microphones to equipment, or to create a link between two pieces of equipment (like a mixer to a recorder).
Quarter Inch (1/4”)
The 1/4″ (6.35mm) plug looks like a bigger version of the 3.5mm plug.
They’re commonly used to connect microphones and other gear to recording equipment such as mixers or preamps.
Most mixers and recorders will allow you to connect either an XLR cable or a 1/4″ jack to the same port. These are known as ‘Combo Ports’.
The Standard Headphone Jack
The 3.5mm plug/connection is most commonly found on headphones and earbuds. They’re also found on some smaller microphones too, like ‘lavalier’ clip on mics, and headsets.
TS, TRS, & TRRS Plugs
Audio plugs (like the 3.5mm plug) have markings on them to determine exactly how they work.
These markings come in the form of little black bands that run around the shaft of each plug.
These bands separate each different function of the plug in question.
A plug with one band is known as a tip sleeve or TS jack. That’s because the single band separates the tip from the sleeve.
A plug with two bands is known as a tip ring sleeve, or TRS jack, because the bands have separated a ring in the middle, between the tip and the sleeve.
A plug with two bands is known as a tip ring ring sleeve, or TRRS jack, because that has two rings separated in the middle.
So what’s the purpose of all these tips and rings, and how do they work differently?
TS plugs are traditionally known as mono plugs, because the tip is feeding all the audio to the source in one dose.
TRS plugs are traditionally known as stereo plugs because the tip is now being used to feed the left channel of your audio to the source, whilst the ring is feeding the right channel.
In recent years, a third option was added to this setup – the TRRS plug.
The extra ring was brought in to accommodate a microphone or video option. The most common use of TRRS plugs is talking through a headset on your PC, or making a hands free call on your phone.
RCA connectors are also known as phone cables or AV jacks.
Mixers have RCA ports on them, and these enable you to connect and play media through them.
RCA cables are usually Y shaped, with the white and red stereo audio plugs at one end, and a single plug on the other end, such as a 3.5mm or 1/4″ connection.
We also cover microphone stands and pop filters.
- The Best Boom Arm for Podcasting
- Studio Cable Management for Podcasters
- Finding the Best Audio Cables: The (Not So) Fascinating Truth
- Best Podcast Microphones on the market
- Alitu – Our Podcast Maker App
Episode 7 – How to Set Up a Great-Sounding Home Podcast Studio
The term “home podcast studio” can mean different things to different people. For some, it means soundproofed walls, a large, sleek, padded table, and multiple mics running onto a mixer. For others, it means a USB mic sitting in a cat bed. The bottom line is that creating a pro-sounding home podcast studio is possible, no matter how small your budget or house space.
- How to Create a Silent Podcast Studio
- Why Record Your Podcast Outdoors
- What is Reverb? (& How to Fix it!)
Episode 8 – Best Podcast Recording & Editing Software
In this episode, we’re looking at Audio production software, commonly know as ‘Digital Audio Workstations’ in the audio production industry. We’ll look at the most common options out there to give you an idea of which one might suit you.
Of course, podcast recording and editing software is more than just DAWs these days. There are a lot of great call recorders and podcast making apps too. On this episode of Podcraft, we’ll talk you through a range of options, as well as discuss our own personal favourites.
- Alitu: The Podcast Maker App
- Hindenburg Journalist
- Adobe Audition
- The Complete Podcast Software Guide
- Best Podcast Editing Software
- Best Podcast Making Apps
- The Minimum Effective Editing Approach
- Best Tools for Recording a Podcast Online
- Best Text-Based Editing Options
- Editing Your Podcast With a Stream Deck
- Editing Your Podcast With a Video Game Controller
Episode 9 – Equipment & Software for Video & Live Broadcasting
Adding a video or live broadcasting element can work well for some podcasters. In this episode, we dig into the tools you’ll need if you want to run a successful video series.
- Ultimate Video Podcasting Guide
- Best Video Editing Software
- How to turn live broadcasts into podcasts that don’t suck
- Why Video can’t and won’t replace audio in podcasting
- Alitu – The Podcast Maker
- Rode Rodecaster II
- Zoom PodTrak P4
- Rode Wireless Pro
Automate Your Podcast Production
Are you a complete beginner with no real technical background, and no desire to learn about audio editing?
If so there’s a tool called Alitu that’ll let you build your episodes in an incredibly simple way. It’s our ‘Podcast Maker’ web app.
Alitu will take your raw audio, do all the volume leveling and cleaning up for you. It’ll let you add in your music, segments, transitions, etc. In fact, it’ll even go as far as to publish your episode for you once it’s ready!
So if you’re in the “non-techy” and “complete beginner” camp, and the thought of editing and production is really holding you back, we’d love you to give it a 7 day free trial.
Work With Us
Podcraft Academy is where you’ll find all our courses, resources, etc. We’ve everything in there from planning and launching, to interview and presentation skills, to equipment and editing, to promotion and monetisation. And on top of that, you get access to our regular live Q&A sessions every single week!